First, we presented ultra premium gins, then the most exclusive vodkas, and now it is time to talk about rum, the exotic alcoholic beverage extracted from sugarcane, a plant native to East Asia that has adapted well to the warm, humid climate of the Caribbean. The Arabs introduced it to Southern Spain during their occupation, and also discovered the art of its distillation.
Christopher Columbus brought the first plants to the Americas from the Canary Islands, where his ships stopped for supplies before crossing the Atlantic. Sugarcane took hold in Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. Later, in the 17th century, the English, French and Dutch conquered other Caribbean islands and sugarcane cultivation expanded through Haiti, Barbados and Jamaica.
The distillation of fermented sugarcane juice began with the arrival of the first stills in the Caribbean, which in the early years probably was not exactly a quality beverage as reported in historical documents of the time: “a hot, hellish, and terrible brandy” that had “strange effects on the conduct and behavior of people”.
The British Navy was a great driving force in the expansion of the production and consumption of rum, and from 1655, Admirals ordered the daily distribution of half-pint rations to sailors, a tradition that continued until 1970.
Today, rum is one of the spirits with greater stylistic diversity, subject to numerous variants that make up its development process: made from molasses or sugarcane juice (guarapo); distilled in copper stills or continuous columns; time of maturity in oak barrels and the origin of the barrels; as well as the expertise of a Master Distiller who should be able to obtain consistent quality year after year.
These are some of the most prestigious brands in the world, which, undoubtedly, will make you an enthusiastic fan of this noble, aromatic and flavorful spirit.
Zacapa XO Rum
A blend of rums aged from 6 to 25 years, which ultimately rests in French oak barrels that have previously contained cognac. Dense and perfectly balanced, it has a deep mahogany color with bright reflections. On the nose, we sense expressive and refined aromas of vanilla, almond, chocolate and toasted barrel scents. And on the palate, it is deep and joyful, elegant, refined and with strong character. It has a subtle, full and sophisticated finish.
Mount Gay 1703 Old Cask Selection
To develop this rum, Master Distiller Allen Smith selected the best rums from the oldest reserves in Mount Gay. 1703 is a demanding blend composed of rare and remarkable rums from barrels that Smith has carefully guarded for years. Forty-four mixtures were needed to achieve the exquisite subtlety of Mount Gay 1703. With golden amber color, refined aroma of oak and caramel notes, its flavor brings out hints of caramel, spices and toasted bread. A balanced rum with a delicate, luminous finish.
Santa Teresa Gran Reserva
With a blend of premium rums, and aged up to five years in oak barrels, Santa Teresa Gran Reserva is Venezuela’s most distinctive rum. Its color is light amber, and it has a fruity and ripe aroma that evokes the sweetness of the cane. It is fruity with fiery notes that perfectly combine its freshness with subtle wood accents. Firm on the palate, it is also soft, light and silky.
Rande Gerber and Roberto Serrallés introduced Caliche Rum to the international market a few years ago. This fantastic spirit is produced by Destilería Serrallés, the birthplace of Puerto Rican rum. It is the result of the successful mixture of four different aged rums, which come from the best sugarcane and molasses in the Caribbean. The clean, transparent liquor with hints of vanilla and touches of oak and caramel is obtained through multiple distillations and activated carbon filtration. An elegant, round and exclusive product that is perfect served with ice and a few drops of lemon.
Ron Barceló Imperial Premium Blend
It is difficult to describe how this premium rum— considered one of the best in the world— is made and aged because its elaboration is top secret. It presents a radiant amber color with light copper flashes. As it approaches the nose, it is complex and seductive with balsamic, spicy notes and hints of vanilla, wood and a nutty background. In the mouth, it is warm and mellow, emphasizing its round finish, as well as its long minty and spicy aftertaste. ■